Maines Twirls Gem, Redbirds End Spring Trip with 2-1 Victory
March 15, 2008
BRADENTON, Fla. - Freshman Corey Maines was impressive on the mound, allowing only one run while going the distance, to pace the Illinois State baseball team (9-5) to its fifth-straight victory, 2-1, over Lafayette College Saturday at the IMG Academy. Maines, who was making just his second collegiate start, struck out five batters and walked only one. The Redbirds' win also marked the first time that Illinois State has recorded five-consecutive victories since 2005, when the `Birds won five-straight.
Maines finished with 115 pitches, throwing 82 for strikes. The Redbirds were also led in the batter's box by freshman Kevin Tokarski, who tallied one hit and one RBI, in addition to two stolen bases. Junior Dan Weston also recorded an RBI.
Head coach Jim Brownlee was ecstatic when thinking about Maines' performance, believing that the team has built an expectation for success.
"Corey's performance today was about as good as I can remember," said Brownlee. "The great thing about it was that as the game went on Corey got stronger. Normally, our pitchers don't go over 110 pitches this time of season, but Corey was doing well at the end of the game and I had no intention of taking him out. He was going to finish the game because they weren't to get anything off of him late in the game. Corey's performance really helps us as we get ready for conference play next weekend, and today's game will be a big confidence builder for him.
"I'm also really happy for our seniors; they have done a tremendous job of leading this team. They should get all the credit and I think our underclassmen our guys who have some grit to them. Our kids are now expecting to win, when that starts happening it becomes contagious."
The Redbirds got on the board first in the second inning. Sophomore Gabe DeMarco and senior Kyle Cherney led off the frame with back-to-back singles, and freshman Ronnie Calvird loaded the bases with an infield single with one out. Weston stepped up and was able to drive the run on a RBI groundout.
But Lafayette came back in the top of the fourth, scoring a run on a RBI single from second baseman Tom Hayes. The Redbirds ended up avoiding a big inning, however, by throwing out a Lafayette runner that tried to advance to third on a double steal prior to the RBI hit.
Sophomore Cole Marty started the sixth inning with a walk, and stole second to move into scoring position. Junior Mike Stalowy was hit by a pitch, and both runners moved another base on a double steal. Tokarski came to the plate and dropped a successful sacrifice bunt, scoring Marty for the eventual game-winning run.
The Redbirds will head to Chicago Tuesday to play Illinois-Chicago in a mid-week matchup. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.